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Kittens - We recommend starting kittens with their first wellness visit at the age of 8 weeks.
(starting vaccines earlier than 8 weeks of age is not recommended due to the level of interference from
FVRCP Vaccine - recommended at 8, 12 and 16 weeks.
(the last distemper vaccine needs to be at 16 weeks or after - if series is completed before 16 weeks
it may not be completely protective due to the interference of maternal antibodies.)
FELV (if applicable)- recommended at 12 and 16 weeks.
FIV (if applicable)- discuss with doctor for recommendations on if or when to start series of three
Rabies Vaccine - recommended at 16 weeks.
Also recommended at each visit - a fecal flotation, Heartworm prevention and flea/tick prevention
Cats - All cats should have a wellness exam yearly
FVRCP - recommended yearly.
FELV - recommended yearly if applicable.
FIV - recommended yearly if applicable
Rabies - Recommended at 1 year then every three years.
Also recommended at each yearly wellness visit - a fecal flotation, year round heartworm prevention and flea/tick prevention
* The following is a description of each of the above vaccinations:
FVRCP + Chlamydia Vaccine: This vaccine is basically five different vaccines put into one injection. The following are descriptions of the diseases included in this vaccine. This vaccine should be started at 8 weeks of age; boostered every 3-4 weeks until 4 months old; then once yearly.
Rhinotracheitis: This is a herpesvirus and is part of the "Upper Respiratory Complex". It can
cause fever, anorexia, sneezing, discharge from the nose and/or eyes and coughing.
This virus will remain in the cats body for the rest of its life and later cause disease of the
cornea or reoccurance of other symptoms.
Calici: This is a calicivirus and is another part of the "Upper Respiratory Complex". It can cause fever,
ulcers on the tongue and mouth.
Panleukopenia: Also referred to as "Feline Distemper" is caused by a parvovirus. This virus causes
a significant decrease in white blood cells which are needed to fight off infection. It can cause severe
diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia and fever. Cats that survive usually don't have any lasting problems.
The virus is highly contagious and vaccination is effective in preventing.
Chlamydia psittaci: This bacteria is part of the "Upper Respiratory Infection" complex as well.
It can cause eye infections, rhinitis and low grade fever.
FELV Vaccine: This vaccine is given at 12 weeks and boostered at 16 weeks then yearly as indicated.
The Feline Leukemia virus effects the cat's bone marrow and therefore its ability to fight off infection.
We can see weight loss, gingivitis/stomatitis, lethargy, chronic infections (especially upper respiratory
infections), fever and in some cases even lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes).
It is important to discuss with your veterinarian whether or not your cat is going to be indoor or
outdoor. There is a 1 in 10,000 chance your cat will get an aggressive sarcoma tumor at the
vaccine site. If your cat is indoor only then there is a much less chance of getting FELV than the
cancerous tumor. Therefore this vaccine is NOT recommended for strictly indoor cats. If you are
unsure, please discuss it with your veterinarian.
FIV Vaccine: This vaccine is only recommended in FIV indemic areas for outside cats and households with
positive FIV cats for indoor cats. Once vaccinated with this vaccine your cat will always test positive
for the disease even if your cat does not have FIV. Therefore, before deciding to do this vaccine
please consult your veterinarian. If you decide to do this vaccine it is a series of three vaccines
each two weeks apart, then once yearly thereafter.
Rabies Vaccine: Rabies is a very serious disease transmitted by saliva either by bite wounds or
saliva contact with open wounds. Incubation from time of exposure to symptoms is usually 3-6 weeks
in the dog but can be as long as 6 months. It attacks brain cells and causes neurologic symptoms.
Once an animal gets rabies it is always fatal. Vaccination for rabies is required by state law for dogs
and in many communities keeping cats up to date with the rabies vaccine is also required.
(There is also a vaccine for FIP which is feline infectious peritonitis - this vaccine is very controversial and has been found to increase the likelihood of getting the disease instead of preventing it)